system life cycle - Computer Definition
The phases in the life of an information system, which includes its initiation, development, maintenance and eventual demise. The length of the cycle depends on the nature and volatility of the business, as well as the software development tools used to generate the applications and databases. An information system that is revised over and over throughout the course of many business changes often becomes structurally weak. Programming changes become difficult to apply to applications that have been patched dozens of times. At some point, it is practical to start over from scratch. See application lifecycle management and ISO/IEC 12207.